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“Great game viewing!”

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Buffalo Ridge Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 15 March 2014 via mobile

We went to Buffalo Ridge as a group of 5 friends for a short weekend trip. Some of us had been on safari before but three in our group had their first game drives ever at Madikwe. This is a great place to see all the animals in just 2 days! Elephant herds, lion prides, cheetah families, a rhino, loads of zebra and giraffes. Sometimes the water buffalo do come up to a little watering hole below the main deck of the lodge. The lodge itself was pretty standard lodge safari. Bed and shower were both fine for a night or two. Food was good but not great--that is the part that could be improved on, we had much better food at other lodges around SA and Botswana.

Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
Thank AsaOxner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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83 - 89 of 152 reviews

Reviewed 4 March 2014

The Lodge is a nice and comfortable lodge. Nothing upmarket, but comfortable and well serviced. The guides are professionals and kow their area very well. We have had seen the Big Five within the first two hours; amazing for that small territory but true. Madikwe is a Little bit commercial if it is compared to huge ame ressorts like private game parks at Kruger National Park or Chobe in Botswana. But it is only three hours away from Johannesburg, Close to Botswana border and no private cars ae allowed in that area. I would absolutely recommend Madikwe as well as the Buffalo Ridge Hotel.

We were very lucky to get invited to the Managers wedding ceremony in the nearby village. An unforgettable experience.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Edmund-Zuber
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 March 2014

We spent 3 nights here in February, but it felt like we had been there for a week or more as we experienced so much! The way they split the day between drives and downtime means you literally can't remember what day you are... We were all laughing that we couldn't remember if we saw the cheetahs that morning or the day before!

The lodge is beautifully done, lovely open communal areas for reading, relaxing, eating, swimming. All wonderfully decorated and designed. The individual lodges are also fantastic. We stayed in lodge 8, the most isolated, which was great and we saw quite a lot of wildlife at our lodge (baboons, gazelle, elephants down below). However it is quite a trek for anyone less able, or with kids to carry/push

The drives were also great. We had Franco who knows the reserve like the back of his hand. They way the guides from all the lodges work together means you never miss a good sighting, which keeps the excitement levels up.

We tracked buffalo, found cheetahs (they see them rarely) saw a wild dog kill and saw countless elephants, giraffes, rhinos and other animals...

However the lion finds where the most spectacular. Franco was able to find them under bushes, in deep bush off-rad and even once just lying in the road in front of our lodge. The experiences are so close it's pretty scary, especially when Franco relayed the story of him saving a young girls life from the very lioness we were only a couple of metres from! (Google it, from May last year)

The welcome at the lodge was great after a long drive. Fresh towels and a cocktail waiting for us. The food was also really good. I'm not sure where some of the criticisms of the food on here have come from, maybe they changed their chef since? We got very tasty 3 course dinner every night, a 'light lunch' that was more than enough for all of us and a wonderful buffet and cooked breakfast choice every day. This was in addition to the morning safari coffee and cake break and the evening sundown cocktail and nibbles on safari.

We also had a buffalo, baboons and a group of 15 elephants come via the lodge watering hole during the day which was a great experience.

I debated for a while whether Madikwe was worth the 4hr drive from joburg, but it absolutely was and I would go back without hesitation.

Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank Hoopsa78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 February 2014

We spent 2 days at Buffalo Ridge in Madikwe. The game drives were sheduled 5:30 in the morning and in the late afternoons.
The lodge has a beautyful location inside the big Madikwe reserve, very close to all the animals.
Overall it was an excellent set-up. The rooms, food, service was super and the committed crew made i all a success!
Our tourguide Lazarus was very nice and knowledgable. It was a great pleasure to go around with him.
/Eva, Cajsa & Claes from Sweden

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank Claes L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 February 2014

We're just back from 2 nights at Buffalo ridge lodge and are full of praise for the wonderful welcome by all the staff there. Very helpful, accommodating and friendly. The food was delicious and healthy with plenty of fruit and veg.The chalets are beautiful and clean with very comfortable beds. Our guide, Israel, was remarkable and very knowledgeable and really went out of his way to find the animals. We saw lions, a hyena, a leopard, cheetahs,….an incredible experience.
An additional huge plus for the place is the fact that it is run by a local community. A rare occurrence in SA.
We will definitely return there.

Room Tip: chalet 8 has the best view but is also the furthest to walk to (250 meters from reception)
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank fiona217
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 February 2014 via mobile

This community based lodge is really fabulous. The room was super clean and because it was raining we enjoyed the huge bed with overlooking the park and Botswana a lot. The dinner was very good and the dinning area overlooking a water whole feels unbelievable. The pool is also super nice. Lazarus - the safari driver - was very knowledgable and we saw a lot of the animals including lions eating a wilderbeast. He also did his best to make it happen that we saw a leopard. All together a very relaxing place with a wonderful experience: having a shower with viewing the wilderness. Great!!!

Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
Thank El-Davidos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 January 2014

Buffalo Ridge has so much potential as its got the views the people and the animals, yet the experience is not being fully harmonized. The ranger was very knowledgeable yet lacked passion for the place. The food was very average and not kid friendly at all, yet their wine selection was very good. A fun place to start your Madikwe experience.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
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Thank ClemD2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Buffalo Ridge Lodge

Address: Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa
Region: South Africa > North-West Province > Madikwe Game Reserve
Hotel Style:
Ranked #20 of 23 Speciality Lodging in Madikwe Game Reserve
Price Range: £351 - £988 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Buffalo Ridge Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 8

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